Hacking Motivation Through Mindset

Last week I wrote about focusing on habits and the process instead of the end goal. In the past I’ve also written on finding the positive side on everything that life throws at you. So to continue the trend this week’s post is a bit of hybrid of the two topics, habits and being positive. I think it’s important to use daily positive affirmations to switch your mindset from failure to a more success orientated. It’s especially important during the times when motivation fades.


Your goal might be to lose ten kilos, deadlift three times the bodyweight or to meditate for twenty minutes each morning. All of them take a considerable amount of hard work to reach. You need skill, focus, determination and sometimes even a touch of luck to get the stars aligned.


It’s important to keep encouraging yourself along the way as you make decisions that align with your ultimate goal.Try to to keep reminding yourself with positive affirmations when you are doing the right things while working your way towards the end goal. Each individual decision that aligns with your goal should earn you a pat on the back from yourself. Weird? Not really. Unless you have a limited shoulder mobility.


Being solely focused on the scale weight or weight on the bar can easily wipe out all your motivation if you can’t see weekly or daily progress. Once this happens, and it does happen to all of us at some point, it’s easy to revert back to thinking that you have failed. Unless you are majestically bullheaded it always takes a bit of soul searching to re-ignite the motivation and get going again. Sure, it’s doable as that’s how most of us do it year in and year out but is it the best and most reliable way to keep progressing?


So learn to give yourself a pat on the back each time you take action, however small, that aligns with your goal. You slowly shift your mindset and start thinking yourself as a person who is constantly making great decisions.
These constant positive affirmations will turn you into a success minded person and you won’t experience as much of that failure-feeling when things don’t necessarily go the way you wanted them to. When you constantly give yourself positive feedback (when you deserve it, of course) it’s easier to ignore the small humps on the road.


Let’s say that you made four decisions yesterday that all aligned with your goals: opted for a side salad instead of fries, did five minutes of mobility while watching television, practiced your breathing before falling a sleep, ate one Tim Tam instead of full packet. All positive actions that some of us probably wouldn’t normally even think twice. So what happens if you would’ve done all those things but had fries instead of a salad? My wild guess is that for the most of us the whole day would have had a negative tone to it. You would’ve put all of your thoughts on that hump on the road and therefore think that you had failed the day. It seems that we always emphasize the negative actions we take and hammer ourselves down. Not very encouraging is it?


Here’s what I am saying: You are driving an old, rusty, beat up, no-suspensions-since-the-seventies car on a not-so-well maintained road that feels like it leads to Mordor. You’re driving in an absolute silence. No radio, no passengers to keep you company, absolute nothing to take your mind off the road. I can guarantee that you will feel each and every tiny bump on the surface of that road. That’s all you can focus on.
Now, sit back into that old beat up car and start driving that same road again. The only difference this time is that you have a radio and you are cranking up some Motörhead as loud as you can! Get it? Motörhead is your positive affirmation and it will take your mind of the bumpy road!


By giving yourself a pat on the back each time you make a positive decision you’ll start to add a positive spin to your whole day. Just by having a simple mantra such as “well done”, that you say to yourself** each and every time you do something that aligns with your goals can make a huge difference.


It’s important to reflect back on our day as often as possible, even if only for a second and find the what you did well. Slowly you become someone who thinks YES, I CAN (Obama, anyone?) instead of NO, I CAN’T. It’s easier to be a successful person once you think of yourself as one.



*If you don’t know what Motörhead is, we can’t be friends. Sorry.
**Depending on where you are you might want to say this in your head rather than aloud. I’ve been getting some occasional odd looks while sitting on a park bench chanting “GOOD JOB JOONAS FOR ORDERING TWO BALLS OF ICE CREAM INSTEAD OF YOUR USUAL FIVE!”


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